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May 19, 2017 – 103rd Anniversary of the Pontian Greek Genocide

It is with a deep sense of reverence that I commemorate, with members of the Pontian community, the 103rd Anniversary of the Pontian Genocide.

We pause to remember an atrocity perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire – the deaths of three hundred and fifty thousand Greeks between 1914 and 1922. We also remember the 1.25 million individuals who were deported.

During and in the aftermath of World War 1, the Pontian Greek population of the Ottoman Empire faced persecution, massacre, expulsion and death marches from the historic region of Pontus, the southeastern Black Sea province of the Ottoman Empire, by the Young Turk administration.

I am the grandchild of Greek Asia Minor refugees. My grandparents were forced to flee to Greece.

Members of the Greek community have felt the horror of this black chapter in the world’s history throughout the decades. We pay homage to the victims and express solidarity with the survivors and their descendants.

This is a day we solemnly acknowledge as we work toward a better future for all mankind.